If a baby is born prematurely or faces other medical challenges, he or she may be placed in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Some infants will require intensive neonatal care for a single day, while others may stay in the NICU for weeks. Many fragile lives that would have been lost in the past are now saved thanks to improvements in newborn intensive care. Unfortunately, mistakes in neonatal care can still happen and can have devastating and even fatal consequences.
When medical errors occur within the NICU, an infant’s health can suffer. In severe cases, permanent brain damage or death may occur. In addition to premature birth, babies may be admitted into an intensive care unit for a variety of reasons including respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) (lack of oxygen and blood to the brain), infections, difficulty breathing, hypoglycemia, perinatal depression, maternal chorioamnionitis (infection of the placenta), or sepsis (a life-threatening infection complication).
At Miller & Wagner, our attorneys investigate and present damages claims for medical negligence occurring in neonatal intensive care. With offices in Eugene and Portland, our medical malpractice attorneys represent families throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington and will provide a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
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Negligence in Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Oregon and Washington
Sometimes babies die or suffer serious injuries in newborn intensive care units despite the best efforts of everyone on the hospital staff. In order to avoid legal liability, physicians and neonatal nurses must uphold the standard of care by adhering to the accepted policies of their practice. As long as medical providers do everything they are supposed to do, they will not be liable for However, if errors or negligence caused your child’s injury, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Medical errors occur when a doctor or other healthcare provider fails to complete an action as intended or when the wrong plan of action is taken to achieve a medical outcome. Neonatal intensive care errors are typically discovered when an adverse event happens. An adverse event implies injuries or other damages that are caused by medical intervention or a lack thereof. It’s important to note that not all neonatal intensive care errors will result in an adverse event.
Neonatal Medication Errors
Medication errors are the most common type of neonatal and newborn intensive care errors. Prescribing errors, particularly dosing errors, are the most prevalent type of medication error for neonatal care.
In addition to medication errors, examples of neonatal intensive care errors include:
- Failure to monitor a baby’s condition
- Failure to diagnose and treat conditions such as jaundice
- Failure to conduct or interpret tests such as the cord blood gas test
- Ventilator errors
- Intubation errors
- Failure to prevent or treat infection
- Negligent charting or identification resulting in improper treatment
Speak with a Portland Medical Malpractice Lawyer Knowledgeable in Neonatal Negligence
Dave Miller and Bob Wagner began their legal careers working as defense attorneys for medical malpractice insurance providers. Their unique insight into the process of evaluating and investigating claims from the defense side can help you develop a strong neonatal medical negligence case. In most neonatal medical negligence cases, a doctor will be asked to provide expert testimony to corroborate your claim. Our firm has strong relationships with leading medical experts who can act as an expert witness for your lawsuit.
Our attorneys represent neonatal medical malpractice clients throughout the Portland metropolitan area including Vancouver, Salem, and Bend with a satellite office in Eugene. If you or your infant incurred a severe injury or other damages as a result of a neonatal medical error, you may be able to file a claim to recover your losses.
An experienced Portland medical malpractice lawyer at Miller & Wagner will determine whether you have a valid claim and assist you with navigating your neonatal intensive care case. Contact us for a free consultation.